Originally created 08/11/00

Burke boards need black leaders



All cities, towns, counties and municipalities have their share of problems. Burke County is no different.

In reference to a Chronicle Aug. 1 letter and the article in the Metro section, I question whether Suzanne Reeves is a native Burke countian. There have always been problems, including race, in Burke County. The last couple of years have brought a lot of those problems to light.

Residents, especially the black residents, now demand equal treatment. Did she not know that not too long ago blacks couldn't even sit on the education or commission boards? They had to file lawsuits for that right.

Her statement, "Either we do as they want us to do ..." Well, for so long blacks have done just that; whites made all the decisions. What is wrong with having a black principal at the high school?

Since its opening day, there have been two principals - a white male and a white female. Why not give a black male an opportunity? The Board of Education is the governing body. Superintendent Doug Day and all other school personnel work for the board. They have the final say.

She named Greg Bunn and Tommy Mitchell; she referred to Wilbert Roberts as "that man." Why didn't she give the same respect to Mr. Roberts? "Hidden racism," maybe?

Mr. Roberts attended school in Burke County and came back to teach in Burke County. He also is well qualified. In addition, more black males are needed as principals and teachers. Has Ms. Reeves not seen the racial makeup of students and staff?

I believe all boards of elected officials in Burke County need a change of heart. We need more honest, sincere, colorblind people to run for elected office. With those people seated, race isn't a factor. Rich or poor isn't a factor.

All that remains is what's right or wrong. Right should always prevail, even if it doesn't please everyone.

If the black board members are being led by a strong head and a sincere heart, then I say to the rest of Burke County: Listen. Maybe God's trying to tell you something.

Janis Campbell, Waynesboro